When Violence is Personal

by Suzanne Grosser

Violence is a part of most traumas, but sometimes violence is personal as well. If your pain was caused, intentionally, by another person, this page is for you.

If you were attacked, violated, stalked, beaten, or terrorized by another human being, you have experienced something different from a natural disaster or an accident. To make it easier for those of you struggling with these types of things, I created this page to bring together information you need.

I do not mean to belittle trauma from other causes. An accident that maims you, a storm that blows away your life, are both horrific events and post traumatic stress is often the result. But being the target of another person’s violence is a special kind of hurt that deserves special attention.

So how do you deal with this kind of trauma?

First of all, you have to be here. You have probably considered suicide. Please don’t. The world needs people like us who have seen the worst of humanity and yet, have endured. We can make the world a better place, but we need you to do it. So stick around. We’ll get through this, together.

You must find your truth. When you are tormented by another human being, you are almost always expected to believe their version of the truth. Even the most violent rapist wants you to believe that you enjoyed it. Your truth is all that matters. Embrace it.

You’ll need to figure out what really happened. Trauma caused by another is almost always deeply interwoven with lies and more lies. It takes a while to figure it all out. Take the time. It is worth the pain. You will find yourself again.

You may need to forgive yourself for things you did – things you never thought you would do. Things you never wanted to do. But you did. You did what you had to in order to survive. You didn’t have to like it. You didn’t have many choices But now you have to deal with it.

You have guilt to deal with, of course. You need to make sure it is the right kind of guilt. You should definately figure out why it happened. It’s the only way to feel confident about your future.

You are going to need to tell someone about the awful things that happened to you. Yes, it is hard, but you have to tell. Keeping it secret protects all the wrong people. Telling saves you. Telling gets you the help you need. If you are really lucky, you will find someone like I did, who helped me with a unique therapy perfectly suited to the situation.

You have a lot of strong and erratic emotions You need to get them under control. Do not deny your feelings. Your emotions are useful, honest, and should not be ignored. You can channel them to create a new life for yourself.

Sad to say, one day, you will have to face your attacker. The person who comitted violence against you, may reappear. It happened to me. It will probably happen to you. But you can be ready.

Finally you will learn that despite the awful things that happened to you, you can move forward and have the life you want.

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